There is a new misogynist in town. His name is the “thermal comfort model,” and he is making the workplace even MORE difficult for women.
Nature published a report on Monday explaining why the temperatures in many offices have female employees wrapped in knit sweaters -- even in the summer months.
According to Nature, office temps are regulated using a formula for a “thermal comfort model.”
This formula considers elements like the temperature and the speed of air within the building, as well as any insulation provided by the workers' clothing.
The factors are organized into a seven-point scale and then juxtaposed against the PPD, or “predicted percentage dissatisfied.”
The PPD measures what percentage of workers are probably feeling either too hot or too cold.
During the development of this formula, scientists chose a 40-year-old man weighing roughly 154 pounds as the basis for the equation's resting metabolic rate.
Since women, on average, have slower metabolisms and more body fat than men, the formula leaves many women, quite literally, out in the cold.
Ignoring the physiology of women when creating the “thermal comfort model” saddled ladies with an estimated 35 percent deficit in heat production.
That's why you commonly find women layering sweaters year-round, drinking hot coffee mid-July and pretending to need a male coworker's opinion on a project in the mere hopes of siphoning some of his body heat.
Joost van Hoof, a building physicist (and expert in lady bodies) at Fontys University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, shared his opinion on how to fix this defecit with The New York Times -- despite his distance from the actual study.
Many men, they wear suits and ties, and women tend to dress sometimes with cleavage. The cleavage is closer to the core of the body, so the temperature difference between the air temperature and the body temperature there is higher when it's cold. I wouldn't overestimate the effect of cleavage, but it's there.
While women are, indeed, constantly betrayed by their cleavages, there are women who attempt to cover their décolletages (I am doing so now, in the name of science) only to find themselves freezing, still.
Perhaps it is time to change the formula and consider the metabolic rates of professional women everywhere.
Citations: Science explains why women are always freezing at work (Fortune)